People Online Now Have 'Sympathy' For Jeffrey Dahmer After Watching The Netflix Series

Victims' families were afraid this would happen.

Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer, TikTok comments Netflix / TikTok / Facebook

Dramatized versions of true crime stories walk a fine line between honoring and exploiting victims and Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series may have just crossed into dangerous territory.

There was some hype surrounding “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” but after it’s Sept. 21 release date, the internet was filled with backlash for the way that the often retold story of the infamous serial killer.


Everyone from the families of victims to members of the true crime community have had something to say about how the series handles Dahmer’s story.

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Many have noted how the show’s presentation skews the story for those who are unfamiliar with the atrocities committed by the sex offender.

Many believed the fictionalized Ryan Murphy retelling encourages viewers to sympathize with the murderer, leading to some truly unbelievable takes online.



Online, Jeffrey Dahmer’s killings are now being defended by supporters who think he was wronged.

Jeffrey Dahmer was a very complex criminal, convicted of 15 of the 17 murders he committed in the Milwaukee area from 1978 to 1991.


Dahmer targeted predominately LGBTQ men of color as his victims.

These males were between the ages of 14 and 32 when they were killed.

As he killed more people, Dahmer’s attacks became more heinous, with necrophilia and cannibalism employed in some of his most depraved acts.

At the time of his arrest, Dahmer developed a dangerous cult-like following.

The phenomenon of sympathizing with Dahmer, who was widely regarded as a charmer by those who encountered him, is nothing new.

During the two years that he served in prison after being sentenced to 15 life sentences, a number of women wrote to Dahmer, compelled by his story.


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He was diagnosed as having Schizotypal personality disorder and Borderline personality disorder, leaving some to believe he wasn’t responsible for the crimes he committed.

Now, Netflix is adding to the sympathy for Dahmer.

By telling the tragic backstory of the merciless killer, the show encourages viewers to understand Dahmer’s senseless behavior.

Netflix also cast one of the generation's most beloved actors, Evan Peters, who has a cult following of his own.

Peters made Dahmer too familiar and sympathetic, in a similar way to how many shared newfound sympathy for Ted Bundy when he was portrayed by Zac Efron.


The focus of the series itself, which takes more of a look into Dahmer’s personal life before and aside from his crimes, has many concerned that it humanizes someone who while complicated, caused immeasurable pain to his victims and their families.

It also contributes to the trauma around Dahmer’s crimes.

For days, the limited series was included under the streaming service’s LGBTQ tag – this has since been edited.


Framing Dahmer as an LGBTQ figure is erroneous and disrespectful to his victims who identified as such.

There’s also the fact that victims’ families have spoken out against the production.

After the second official trailer featured side-by-sides from the series and the actual trial without the consent of families, as explained by a family member of Errol Lindsay’s sister, Rita Isbell who responded on Twitter about the situation retraumatizing those involved


As if all of that isn’t enough, even the most seasoned true crime fans on Twitter have noted that the show was “graphic,” “gory,” “dark, and “disturbing.”

As a new generation begins to process Dahmer’s crimes, documentary and docu-drama creators have a responsibility to respect the trauma of his victims rather than exploiting his acts.


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Angela Andaloro is a writer who passionately explores all things entertainment, parenting, and true crime. Follow her on Twitter here.